Demo Bazars - the best 60 minutes of the month

2 minute read

- or how we keep a 300 people company over 5 timezones informed what the development teams are doing

“The best spent 60 minutes of the month” - CRO, ProGlove

As ProGlove is growing, we always want to make sure the company stays informed about the features the development teams are working on - and gather as much feedback as possible. And honestly, nothing builds pride in your work as showing it off to your colleagues.

By the scrum book, you’d do this in the Sprint Review/Demo. However, with 300+ people in the company and 9+ development teams that engineer both Hardware and Software products that doesn’t scale.

So we’ve set up our own regular meetings called “Demo Bazars”. 60-90 minutes reserved for the development teams to present the features they have been working on in the past weeks and explain them to the wider company. Attendance is optional, but regularly about 50-70% of the company participate in the event which is held every 6 weeks. It’s one of the most vibrant meetings we have, with a lot of participation in chat or verbally - with praise, feedback and questions.

Back in the day (pre-Covid), this used to be mostly in-person meetings with a video stream to the rest of the company. Today, it’s a video call - with prepared video presentations.

Two weeks before, our agile team starts to prepare the meeting, collecting a list of topics/features that would be interesting to show. The teams then refine that list - and distribute the task of creating the videos to small groups or individuals. Each group or person then creates a short (max 3-minute) video of their feature. Often a screen-recording with voice-over, but it can be anything from a slideshow (seldom) to a (smartphone-)camera recording of a hardware device or a production line. For a new engineer to our team, this will often be difficult to jump into - but because it’s async and you have editing capabilities, everyone can do it. The time spent on preparing these videos varies greatly by experience. The first videos often take hours, but after a couple of tries, we often spend less than 30 minutes on a video.

We then combine all videos, together with who is presenting and the responsible PO, on a Wiki page - which is used as the presentation medium.

During the meeting itself, a coach moderates the process: After a short introduction from the responsible product owner, the prepared video is shown. Afterward, questions are fielded - and we move on to the next topic. Between 10-15 topics are shared this way each time, giving a great overview of what the teams are working on - and the engineers some feedback and applause.

As an engineer, I’ve found that this is one of the most rewarding meetings of our rhythm of business. And given the active participation of the rest of the company, I think this holds for everyone.